Boler Business : Why the American middle class is constantly struggling

February 4th, 2016




Fifty-seven percent of Americans say the country is doing poorly, according to the Bloomberg.


These days, Americans are skeptical that life will get much better for their kids.


The Washington Post reported that this month found that 56 percent of Americans think the next generation will be worse off than they are financially.


This deep unease about where America is now and where it’s potentially headed, especially economically, helps explain why anti-establishment presidential candidates are doing so well.


Although the U.S. economy currently may appear to be in a recession, the U.S. economy is likely to grow over 3 percent in 2016 according to Bloomberg.


Despite the concern on how to improve America for future generations, it is important to realize that, Americans today are still doing better than in the past for numerous reasons.


The nation’s jobless rate is now down at 5 percent, which is considered a healthy level and one that most economists consider full employment according to Bloomberg.


It’s half of what it was during the worst of the Great Recession.


Just in the past two years, Americans have seen the most job growth in the U.S. since 1999.


On top of that, the U.S. economy is growing.


It’s expanding at just over 2 percent each year; this emphasizes how America is getting wealthier and how a vast majority of people’s standard of living is going up.


Today’s kids are on track to be better off than their parents, at least if  being “better off” refers to money and advance technology.


As long as you have any economic growth at all, most people will move up the ladder. However, today’s economy does have some profound differences from America’s boom days of the 1950s to 1990s because the growth is slowing and inequality is rising.


In other words, life is still getting better for Americans, but it’s not improving as quickly as it used to, especially for the lower and middle classes.


The middle class is especially having a tough time dealing with the economic growth of the country.


Bloomberg reported that economic growth averaged over 3 percent per year from 1969 to 2006. Now it’s averaging just over 2 percent per year.


The middle and lower classes aren’t getting as much of the “economic pie” as they once did, because the “pie” is not being evenly distributed.


In 1970, the rich (America’s top 5 percent) held 17 percent of the country’s wealth, while today that has shot up to 22 percent, according to The Washington Post.


The typical middle class family doesn’t take home much more money now than it did in 1995, after adjusting for inflation.


The middle class are just keeping pace with rising costs (especially of health care and college) and not really getting ahead.


In addition, there is a growing problem that America’s jobs, especially the rewarding jobs, are often located in big cities.


However, those cities are becoming unaffordable for the middle class. As an example presented by The Washington Post a “starter” apartment in New York City now runs about half a million dollars.


Now, it a little easier to understand the frustration of America’s middle class.


On top of the financial struggles, Americans have turned towards the political systems, hoping somebody and Washington can solve this issue once and for all.